The end of our rainforest unit required the kids making a diorama. I gave them each a shoebox, open access to all of the art supplies, and a rubric. Then they asked if they could use some of the plastic animals and plants and I agreed. They both did a great job.
Both of them side by side
He built trees and even had a monkey hanging from the vines connecting the trees. There is an ape sitting on the large rock as well as many other animals hidden. There were 7 different animals included in his diorama. He had a plan from the beginning when he started painting the background and it seemed to all work perfectly for him.
Sweet Daughter's diorama
She stood the shoebox up and went in an entirely different direction. She also has 7 different animals hidden, but I loved that she used (with permission) some of the blue strings off of a pompom to hang as rain. She also included a human figure to be a scientist observing the animals. She didn't have a plan until it all came together and looked great.
When we get set up to do painting, we take it seriously. Here you can see the set up and process that works for us.
Work on flooring that is easily cleaned. Then use large paper (we used the back of paper that had already been used on the easel with markers) as a base to define where the paints should stay. We use paper plates as pallets with 5 colors each. Instead of cleaning the brush between each color, we assign one brush per color. Each child chooses which colors they want to use.
These are the finished products. 4 paintings for each child and the clean up is a breeze. The plates go in the garbage. Any paint that got on the floor or hands is first cleaned with a baby wipe before a more thorough wash. Once the paintings are dry, the paper goes in recycling. The paintbrushes are all washed out together.
We had the opportunity to visit an iCream Cafe. They currently have 4 open: Dallas, Chicago, Dubai, and Kuwait City. Here you choose the type of treat you want (ice cream, yogurt, sorbet, and more) and the mix-ins/flavors you want (fruit, candy, flavors, and more). They mix everything together and then use liquid nitrogen to freeze your personal combination.
You can see the cold smoke starting to come out
They were trying to catch it
Overall the ice cream tasted great. We each got exactly what we wanted and they were all unique things we couldn't get at other places. The experience of seeing it made was also cool. The price does mean I can't imagine us going back unless it was a really special treat though.
Every once in awhile we get out the marble run boxes and let the kids explore. We can't keep them out regularly because then they fight over them and they don't get cleaned up. When they are a once in awhile toy our kids cooperate for a while and once the arguing starts they have to clean up.
We aren't strangers to tornado sirens, though we have never been hit by one where we live now. When the siren goes off, everyone gets their shoes and heads to a safe place. Only, they changed the system so this time it was going off for severe hail not a tornado at all. Oh well, at least we were away from the windows!
Hanging out in the bathtub
Just some of the hail that came through - this is in the front yard.
This is a video of driving through that same hail storm.
IKEA offers free projects occasionally and this is just one of them. During spring break I think they made (and ate) cookies one day, these decorative eggs one day, and they decorated and planted flowers another. It's awesome living so close to IKEA.
This is at a basketball game. While the game is happening they have tons of activities for the kids - bounce houses, hula hoops, games, activities, etc. It really makes it difficult to focus on the basketball game though!
Mini golf - at Daddy's office of course! This is why they always want to go to work with Daddy.
The best part of having the kids in band is we can now all play together. I do need to explain one thing - Sweet Son asked if he could play a high note at the end. I said not for the video since he often misses the note. In the video they are 6 years old and have been playing for 5 months.